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In case this hasn't been posted already.

I was looking around on the internet and I found that democrats such as Ben Nelson and Ron Wyden are trying to effectively repeal the insurance mandate.

Under political pressure as a result of the new health law, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., has asked the Government Accountability Office to study alternatives to the controversial mandate requiring most Americans to obtain coverage.

Nelson spokesman Jake Thompson said the senator isn’t backing away from the mandate, but is "looking at possible replacements" to get the largest number of people to buy insurance.

"Senator Nelson has asked the GAO to study other ways to expand coverage and reduce the costs of uncompensated care," Thompson said in an email to Kaiser Health News. "He’s asked the GAO to evaluate alternative incentives

And there's this

Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will introduce legislation Thursday allowing states to opt out of the controversial individual-mandate requirement of the health care reform law far sooner than they would under the law passed by Democrats earlier this year.

"States shouldn't be forced by the federal government to adopt a one-size-fits all health care plan. Each state's health care needs are different," Brown says in a statement accompanying the legislation. "Our bill provides flexibility, and allows states like Massachusetts to opt out of portions of the health care law."

Read more:

Frankly, the president is going to have to do something, because as this Washington Post article points out, Republican appointed judges dominate the appellate courts increasing the likelihood that the individual mandate is declared unconstitutional

Although the impact of Bush's judicial appointments is most often noticed at the Supreme Court, it has played out much more frequently and more importantly here and in the nation's 12 other appellate courts, where his appointees and their liberal counterparts are waging often-bitter ideological battles. After Bush's eight years in office, Republican-appointed majorities firmly control the outcomes in 10 of these courts, compared with seven after President Bill Clinton's tenure. They also now share equal representation with Democratic appointees on two additional courts.

Originally posted to tonnie on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The mandate is indeed Constitutional. (12+ / 0-)

    It's a very right wing idea in the first place.  Brown and Wyden are doing this because of

    1.  RomneyCare in MA, which already has a mandate so the Federal one doesn't apply
    1.  Oregon is looking to set up a state single payer system.

    Look for Sanders to work in modifying this bill. Language needs to be written in order to GUARANTEE that EVERYBODY is able to get affordable care.  We need to be the ones to guide this so it becomes one step closer to single payer.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:13:10 PM PST

  •  One of the main reasons why (9+ / 0-)

    it was so significant that HCR passed, even in its watered-down form, was that the unsatisfactory aspects of the law will be debated into the future, and I believe more and more Americans will conclude that the popular Medicare program, which is now covers ages 65+, should be extended to the ages of 0-64.  If you're a person in the United States and you need medical treatment, you can get it, period, regardless of ability to pay.

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:13:15 PM PST

    •  Also important was to advance the concept (0+ / 0-)

      that everyone has a right to quality, affordable health care.  No matter what form the law took, the first step is to establish a beachhead for that right to care.

      Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. - Dr. Laurence J. Peter

      by ahumbleopinion on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 03:18:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans hate it, even though it's their idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yep, the most hated, controversial idea of the health care plan is a Republican idea.  The first Republican who thought of it was Richard Nixon.

    And, yes, it's constitutional.  If you have a car, most states require insurance.  So it stands to reason that if you have a body, you can be required to buy insurance, like it or not.

    This holiday season, ditch the mall and shop at Kos-Mart!

    by CoolOnion on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:17:01 PM PST

    •  Not So Sure (0+ / 0-)

      I used to think that way too, but then I started reading the Federal Judge's opinions that will be deciding the health care lawsuits and looking at the ideological makeup of the appeals courts that will decide the case and now I am not so sure anymore.

      This is what happens when you have a two-term Republican president, you have more Republican appointed judges.

    •  huh? (6+ / 0-)

      I dont have to drive or own a car !

      Like it or not you can take your mandate and shove it.

      "To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition." - Woody Allen

      by soros on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:22:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Car Insurance Mandates..... (6+ / 0-)

      Are done under state powers, not the federal constitution. Also, you can choose whether to buy a car (and take on the costs associated with it) or ride the bus.

      •  you can't choose if you pay taxes or not (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Nose, corvo, drewfromct

        That's how this should work, single payer, money for the program come out of general taxes, if you're a regular american citizen who pays taxes yuou can have healthcare.

        •  yes you can. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you can choose to not pay taxes by choosing not to earn income or purchase things.  Not a very practical choice granted but it is still an option for those of us who feel that purchasing something should not be a requirement for existing.

          •  ok that's true (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian, corvo, drewfromct, m4gill4

            The rich basically pay nothing in taxes these days so that's another example of getting out of it, but my point is this, healthcare should be part of our infrastructure, in a way, you know how taxes pay for the building and maintenance of our roads. Except for tolls which are stupid. I'd say taxes should pay for the maintenance of our bodies, that is how we should look healthcare. I mean the other part to this is, no one would really mind the health insurance companies if their rates were reasonable and not increasing astronomically every year. If this health insurance was affordable there'd be no need to socialize it. Really just another example of capitalism failing us.

            •  i hear you and that's reasonable (0+ / 0-)

              but there has to be a line, what is freedom really?  it's an abstraction of the sort that usually boils down to a matter of taste.  

              As for my own, I find being forced to buy something abhorrent on several levels which you've no doubt heard before.  Especially from companies who pay CEO's to have helipads on their yachts. But its all beside the point..

              ...there are a million reasons to consider what would be a wise expenditure on the part of the citizenry, but I don't want to do that, that's why I pay taxes, so I don't have to buy roads from ROAD INC. etc.  This idea of forcing people to buy from private rather than just forcing people to pay taxes is a new and scary/offensive precedent.

              •  whether private fees from a private company (0+ / 0-)

                or taxes, people don't like it if it's too expensive. Everyone complains about taxes, sometimes people's proerty taxes increase by a lot, you know the rich hate taxes, they have huge tax cuts and still want more. Same with health insurance, people don't care if it's a tax or a company fee, if it's affordable. Look at car insurance, required to drive. It's not so expensive though, well it is for young males, but of course they don't have as much political, economic power to complain and fight back. With health insurance, it's especially expensive for older folks, which is why it's such a huge issue. Young folks lots of times don't even feel they need health insurance, foolish IMO but should that be their right? Maybe this mandate wouldn't be such a big deal if there were cost controls! Sticker shock. Previously the uninsured were subsidizing the insured, uninsured pay 300% more for their care as you mention. Now just going to mandate those uninsured get insured, it means much more money for health insurance companies. And remember it's a mandate that you get insurance, but there are plenty of loopholes that mean you won't necessarily get healthcare.

    •  No. You are not *required* to own a car. (8+ / 0-)

      This fails the laugh test.

      neca politicos omnes; deus nullos agnoscet.

      by khereva on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:35:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is my understanding (9+ / 0-)

    that Wyden and Brown's amendment moves up a existing provision in the current law from 2017 to 2014 it is not a new provision

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:18:25 PM PST

  •  No surprise here as the whole Program (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Sandino, midwestblue

    has only resulted in enriching the insurance cos.

  •  I'm all in favor of repealing the mandate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soros, drewfromct, Sandino, midwestblue

    It is not unconstitutional. Repeal via the courts would be a tragedy. Repeal via the legislature would make me very happy.

    "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

    by heart of a quince on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:19:50 PM PST

  •  You could probably make better use of tags. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey, corvo

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:22:45 PM PST

  •  And a more accurate headline would help. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:25:22 PM PST

  •  Grab your popcorn, the insurance mandate... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the only part that the insurance companies like.

    I propose a toast, knowing that our ties subsist because they are not of iron or steel or even of gold, but of the silken cords of the human spirit. 11/9/10

    by BarackStarObama on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 12:42:10 PM PST

  •  Simple Question on Health Care (5+ / 0-)

    So much discussion. So many terabytes of blogging on healthcare.

    I just want to start with a single number.

    Based on the 2010 census, there will be about 310 million people on the US.

    Start from scratch. No insurance companies, no insurance, just universal coverage and a single payer. And the existing delivery system consisting of people and facilities.
    Forget Pharma R&D for the moment.

    What is the bill for all health care delivered to 310 million people?

    •  too much, obviously. (3+ / 0-)

      I mean, be an adult about this!  We've got wars to pay for!


    •  trick question (0+ / 0-)

      Answer: doesn't matter how much it costs just do it because it's morally right.

    •  How much health care and how good? (0+ / 0-)

      Medicare equivalent for all?
      UK equivalent, where there is universal health care, but the government does limit low benefit to expense procedures?
      I think the Canadian system is the equivalent to what you are asking in that it is single payer, with independent providers. That might be the number you are asking after.

      •  Low benefit to expense restrictions (2+ / 0-)
        are fine by me.

        I remember a ban on open heart surgeries for smokers.  Their studies showed that the survival rate for smokers was much lower than nonsmokers for those procedures.

        Surgery is stressful for healthy people and even more so for people who are already seriously ill.  It should come as no surprise that people who are the least healthy tolerate highly stressful procedures worse than others.


        NPR was talking about states dropping coverage of certain procedures.  Their case study of a 40 something year old man with cardio myopathy.  His heart was failing and the only thing that might save him is a heart transplant.  The cause of the damage to his heart?  Rheumatic fever.

        My jaw dropped.  The same thing afflicted my grandmother (my mother is now in her 60s, if you need a reference).  My grandmother made it to 60 and died.  She did pretty well considering the treatment available at the time.  What rheumatic fever IS is a complication of a strep infection.  Way back when, before antibiotics, rhematic fever and organ damage were more common.  

        Now?  Strep throat is easy to test for (5 minutes for a RapidStrep test) and both simple and inexpensive to treat - just use antibiotics.

        This man was literally dying from a childhood infection.  Compare the benefit to expense of a strep test & antibiotics to the life long expense of cardio myopathy.  One heart transplant surgery (not even including the intensive after care needed) would pay for tens or even hundreds of thousands strep infections diagnosed and treated.

        For the want of a nail....

        The big stories get our attention, but I think we are looking at the wrong things.  Getting a strep infection treated doesn't sound all that heroic and life saving to many.  There's no rushing in at the last minute to save a life - but the numbers tell a different story.

        Show me the POLICY!

        by Fabian on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 02:15:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not to mention that there is a lot of medical (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian, ahumbleopinion

          treatments where you are treating the person, but by doing so, you are also working on a public health issue. In general, infectious diseases fall in this category.

          •  Huge public health fan here. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Geek of all trades

            Typhoid Mary was a headline grabber, although her case was apparently unique.

            However - she was a stellar example of how one infected person could spread a deadly disease from person to person and household to household.

            In her case, the mental jump from the theory of disease vectors to the reality of disease vectors is easy to make.   Usually, it's more difficult, more vague and prone to horrible misinterpretations - as we see in cholera in Haiti where UN personnel are blamed for the cholera outbreak.  

            Show me the POLICY!

            by Fabian on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 04:32:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Pretty close (2+ / 0-)

        Not trying to trick anyone with this.

        My best guess:

        Today, the private sector pays about $1.1T, the Gov't pays about $1T.

        The private sector profit is about $0.1T.

        So,  $2T goes to delivering care for about 310M , minus about 60M uncovered or who don't get care in a given year.

        Thus, $2T divided by 250M is $8,000/year average per person.

        To cover the 60M uncovered will require another $480B.

        So a single payer will pay about $2.48T. The Gov't pays $1T today, and will need
        An additional $1.48T. Most could come from the amount currently paid as premiums
        To insurance, but more must come from taxes.

        I don't know how to reduce costs except by Government price control.

        No trick question.


    And watch the insurance companies shit themselves, and the Republicans have to vote against it.


    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. Jimi Hendrix

    by Dave B on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 02:15:42 PM PST

  •  Funny Stuff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Because the insurance program won't work at all without the mandates.

    Government saved the markets and sacrified its people.

    by bink on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 02:39:46 PM PST

  •  Single payer first, then Medicare for over 55 and (0+ / 0-)

    Medicare plus 55 or 10% for everyone under that age, or at the very minimum, the Public Option.

    Enough (already).

    The people spoke with their votes, and in poll after poll they have reiterated how that to be the only way to move this Health Care Reform forward to a point that is fair to all.

    Hey Boehner and the Republicans: WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS YOU PROMISED????

    by LamontCranston on Tue Nov 23, 2010 at 03:32:33 PM PST

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